Monday, September 05, 2016

A Rank and File Labor Day in Iowa City

Johnson County was off the beaten path this Labor Day.

Rank and file attendance at the Iowa City Federation of Labor picnic was at its usual levels, but the draw was more solidarity and food than big name speakers, as Iowa City took a back seat to Hillary Clinton's visit to the Quad Cities this afternoon.

The biggest name on hand, Dave Loebsack, spoke extra early before heading to the QC. (Hillary or no Hillary, that event is an every year stop for him.) The once accidental congressman is now the state's ranking elected Democrat and is filling a new role in campaigning for other candidates. "I've been helping a lot of other folks out but don't take my race for granted," he said in brief reference to his own race, before going back to talking about other races.

The newsworthy moment came from a question about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, shouted at Loebsack on his way to the car. "We're not going to vote on it and if we do I'll vote against it,"he said to applause.

Local legislators were largely absent and presumably at the Clinton event, with the exception of Senator Kevin Kinney, wearing his Johnson County Cattlemen hat and manning the grill. House 77 candidate Amy Nielsen, the only Johnson County Democrat in a contested down-ballot race, also spoke.

All five members of the incoming Board of Supervisors were on hand, with the not yet elected Kurt Friese standing a little to the side as the other supervisors collected another round of thanks for the minimum wage ordinance, a local labor win that's spreading to other counties.

Other electeds spotted: Iowa City Mayor Jim Throgmorton and council members John Thomas and Rockne Cole, school board member Phil Hemingway, and Swisher mayor Christopher Taylor.

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